Have you ever sent an email that you poured to heart and soul in whether business or personal and you didn't get the response you were expecting? Actually you might not have gotten a response at all!
Come on, admit it, you know very well what this feels like. You sit there after checking your email in total shock thinking, the recipient is just nasty and didn't listen or care right?
Let me offer you a slightly different perspective. Silence itself is a response. Depending on the situation its annoying and borderline stressful because it comes with a range of possibilities and unanswered questions. Was it received? Did they read it? Are they so happy about it that they are speechless? Are they upset beyond words? Did they agree with you in any way? Sprinkle some creativity, stress and emotion into that and I am sure in the next 2 minutes you can come up with 99 more possibilities for that situation.
Interestingly enough this can be expressed even in the average neighbourhood. A friend of mine was telling me about one time she was breaking into her own house and she noticed a neighbour saw her doing it but it was dark so she was sure her neighbour could not tell who it was trying to climb thought her window. The response was silence, not sirens or calls or anything. Total silence! Imagine that?
What's my point?
Let's take it back to the world of Digital Social Media. What does it mean when you don't get any replies to your status message in facebook, no @ replies on your twitter or email/newsletters?
In fact no one is commenting much on your posts, whether it is photos, video or a blog post? It means you are not cool enough? Or insightful enough? Well it probably does. Lol yes, I have to be honest with you and you have to be able to laugh at yourself. You should look beyond the surface. Take a step back and see the whole picture. Silence can mean so many things! Have you ever been to a show where a performer has the crowd so much in awe they are silent and completely attentive waiting for the next line or the next move? Is that silence bad or good?
This does manifest itself online, also. I am not saying comments are a bad thing. They are the greatest thing in the world and at the core of this thing we now call social media. My point is to interpret your silence correctly.
Last week how many unanswered emails did you have? What about status messages, blog posts? What did it mean? Now for those of you who are running long term social media campaigns for a client or your own company? If you take a look back over the last week are they any trends you see developing?
My charge to you for this week is to understand your silent crowd. They might just represent the people who love to digest your ideas in totality as in an email or blog post. Your most avid and loyal fans, friends or supporters might actually enjoy your those status updates that keep them informed. It might now occur to them to comment on certain points. Weird from your perspective but natural from theirs!
And if you are still not convicted by that your silent crowd does exist. Stop for a minute and indulge me. Think of someone you really really respect in a passion you share. Anyone from your boss to a big celeb whoever you think. Do you know they could be keeping current on your status messages and other updates? Or it could be another respected person you respect who you have not me yet…
I know because it happened to me several times now.
To those of you using your social media to be silent, I must though remind you that the internet is not about silence. It can do alot for your personal Branding. As renowed Internet Marketer Stephen Pierce puts it,
"The internet does not require your permission, only your paticipation" Stephen Pierce
My message to you today is command your silence audience of your Social Media.